Lad – Army Life – Camp Santa Anita, Spring, 1943

This letter gives you a pretty clear picture of Lad’s life right now. He’s out socializing, probably with my Mom, and teaching during the day.

Camp Santa Anita

April 28, 1943

Dear Dad –

Again, weeks have passed. I just have too good a time to sit down and spend some of it writing, and I really should. However, you can rest assured that if anything of importance happens, you shall know of it. No news will be good. I have definitely decided to keep the car, but not as you suggested.

Tonight I’m again on company duty, but instead of C.Q., I’m Corporal of the Guard. The few times I’ve been on company duty are so infrequent that I really have nothing to complain about. For instance, tonight is the first night I have stayed in camp since I got here January 9, with the exception of that first night, due to quarantine.

It seems that the course in Diesel Engine Principles has finally gotten through to the right authorities by fair or foul means, and pressure has been applied to the effect that the course is to have its first sanctioned appearance on May 3, if it can be put into workable shape by then. Art Lind and I have been working on it and it looks possible. We are hoping.

Our new showers have been opened in the camp with plenty of hot water. There are 197 of them, so we no longer have to the go to the Y in Pasadena to get a hot shower, and speaking of cleaning up – my razor finally begin to show signs of excessive wear, so I turned it in for a new Schick Colonel – eight dollars. The new one operates very nicely. If you remember, you sent me a clipping concerning the need for men with the knowledge of other languages? I had taken you on it, but nothing as yet has been heard from it.

Don’t worry about my operator’s license. I have already written to Hartford asking them to send them to me, but if they come to Trumbull, please forward them. As regards grandmother you, I believe, did the right thing. Personally, I certainly would never have even hesitated, as you probably know. My love to all, and to all a good night –

Laddie

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Trumbull, Conn.

May 2, 1943

Dear young uns,

You are in an airplane. You are on a mission and your course has been set. The country below slides by. It is interesting and you study it, for part of that landscape may fit into another assignment one day. But you keep on your course. You are on a mission!

In the busy round of duties the Army has set as your daily routine, don’t become so absorbed in the present that you neglect once in a while to get off by yourself and try to fit this into the larger scheme of things that will constitute your regular living after this war interlude is over. You too, have a mission – – to enlarge your knowledge and experience and make it serve as a “landscape”, because someday it may be a useful postwar brick in your life work structure. The simile is a bit mixed but I assume you have intelligence enough to get the thought I am trying to get over.

This afternoon a telegram came from Jean, as follows: “Have changed plans (She expected to be home tomorrow). Decided to stay. Letter to follow explaining. Please call my mother( I did and she said she was glad Jean was having such a nice vacation). Please forward any allotment check (Sorry, Jean, but none has arrived). We are both fine. Love. Jean”

Lad has written and the big news in his letter, at least so far as I am concerned, is that he is now a Sergeant. How de do, Sarge. Congratulations from your old man. He is been given the same type of job he had in Aberdeen, Chief of Section, which calls for a staff rating. He therefore expects in two or three months he will have an opportunity to take the staff exam. And the rest of you will have to watch your reputation as bowlers, as he now bowls 180 and expects to top 200.

Barbara was just in and has about decided to apply for a job open to her doing drafting work for the Signal Corps, involving a six-month training course on the N. J. coast. I learned that George Laufer is now at Fort Bragg, N. C.

Grandma wants me to write you all that she is SO happy to be here. Aunt Betty wants me to thank Lad for his lovely letter to her, and I, well I’m just glad I have such a bunch of nice boys. If I were “that way” I might even be a little bit proud.

Ced, I’m having trouble getting your Buick parts shipped. Both the post office and express company refused to send it. I am taking the matter up with Washington. Did you get the package of books?

DAD

It seems that now that the hustle and bustle of Dick and Jean’s wedding on Valentine’s Day, Dick going into that Army, Jean following him and grandma arriving, things are finally starting to settle down a little at the old homestead. I wonder what comes next, don’t you?

For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-nagazine, with several articles and stories from my family, you can click the following links.

Issue 1   Click Here

Issue 2   Click Here

Issue 3   Click Here

Judy Guion

Lad’s Army Life – (1943) – Marian

Lad is still in Santa Anita, near Pasadena, Calif., teaching vehicle maintenance to Army Recruits and continuing his social life. My grandfather mentions in his letter to everyone, for the first time, one of Lad’s lady friends, Marian, (my mother) who throws a birthday party for him. Lad doesn’t realize it but in 7 months, she will be his wife.

April 18, 1943

To the three corporals,Ced and Jean:

California has come through with a letter this week. Lad says my letter reached him on his birthday which he celebrated locally by attending a party in honor

Alfred D. Guion

Alfred D. Guion

of the occasion given by one of his lady friends. Marion, (my Mom). Lad writes that Marian resembles Cecelia (the girlfriend back home) in a number of ways, even to her occupation. That he has resumed his diesel teaching, but has run up against lack of cooperation on the part of one of his superior officers which takes some of the joy out of the work. This sort of thing, in my experience, is quite common. In almost every big organization there is always someone who makes life miserable.

Dan also sends a cryptic message expressing delight in the prospect of grandmother coming here, and informing me he is going back to Lancaster for a week of bayonet training (this goes over big, as you can well imagine, with Dan).

A postal from Jean announces that Dick is a corporal technician. She has acquired a tan; has met a girl and she is sharing an apartment with her, where they can cook their meals.

A few highlights of local news: Elizabeth was up here one day this week and on the way home ran into Smoky Their dog) with her car. He is pretty lame but otherwise seems to be O.K.

Well, so much for this week’s Clarion. Have you heard the new song in which Herr Goebels says “If they continue to lose planes at the present rate the war won’t even last for the duration.”

Dad

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South Pasadena

April 21, 1943

Dear Dad:

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Things have been going too well, and therefore I have not gotten around to writing. I am using my new pen. Thanks. It is okay. I would prefer a wider point, but to get one I will also require heavier pressure, which I don’t want. So I’ll use this as it is.

I got my three-day pass as scheduled, but the girl who owns the house on Arrowhead Lake was taken sick just before we were to leave and so we called it off. She has since undergone an operation, and is much better, so I hope that we will be able to make it on our next pass.

Gen. Campbell came out to Santa Anita today, and we spent all afternoon in the broiling sun on the Parade Ground, dressed in our ordinance uniforms, helmets and no ties. Gee, those helmets are hot, even though they are two layers (inner – fiber; outer – steel).

I am now a sergeant and have been given the same type of job as I had in Aberdeen, Chief of Section, which calls for a Staff rating. Therefore I expect that in two or three months I shall be given a chance to take the staff exam. Nothing definite as yet, however. As to our course in diesel fundamentals – it is still up in the air.

Last Saturday I bowled 180 – my highest game. I’m getting better, slowly but surely, and someday, before long, I hope I’ll hit better than 200, which is considered above the average.

You mentioned something in your last letter about Dan seeing a notice on his bulletin board concerning overseas. We have not heard anything definite as yet, but activities seem to point toward something of that sort for most of us. There are some, however, who are considered indispensable, and I have a very good chance of being in this latter group. It is 10 o’clock Wednesday evening and I’m at the Hospitality House, and my feet are just aching for a dance, so adios.

My love to all.

Laddie

In my grandfather’s next letter, we’ll catch up on what the other three brothers are doing, wherever they happen to be.

Tomorrow is a great day to catch up on some of the posts you’ve missed during the week and on Monday, we’ll hear from gpcox in another Guest Post. This one is all about what life is like for the average American Family. You really don’t want to miss this one. I learned a thing or two and you might also.

Take care.

Judy Guion